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getting ISK currency in US

Chicago
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226 posts
65 reviews
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getting ISK currency in US

I typically bring a wad of local currency with me when I travel, so that I don't have to wasted time at a bank or pay 3-5% for the money at the ATM or on Visa. My bank has informed me that it's not possible to get ISK in the US. Is that really true? If so, anyone know why? It has stabilized since the crash, yes? Just curious. Thanks!

Salisbury, United...
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1. Re: getting ISK currency in US

You will get much better exchange rate using an ATM in Iceland. And it is difficult to get ISK outside Iceland.

Using a debit card in Iceland your bank will use the business rate which is better than the tourist rate. So even if you pay a charge it should work out better than the tourist rate back home.

Reykjavik, Iceland
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2. Re: getting ISK currency in US

Hi topaz, I highly recommend, to withdraw cash from the ATM, you have no commission costs and the exchange rate is practically in real time

NYC
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3. Re: getting ISK currency in US

There is also virtually no need to even have cash in Iceland because credit cards are accepted everywhere. If someone's machine is broken and you are stuck, they'll accept US$. You just get change in their currency. During two trips totaling a month of travel, we never exchanged currency. You would do well to get a card like Capital One Visa or Mastercard which have no foreign transaction fees.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: getting ISK currency in US

Have you tried a currency exchange in the US?

I'm heading out to Iceland next week, and had no problem getting ISK in Canada.

(Although I agree with the credit card/ATM recommendations)

Chicago
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5. Re: getting ISK currency in US

Hi TorontoKimmer. I've been calling around to banks and currency exchanges here, and they all say they don't carry it because there are "restrictions on the currency." No one can explain why, so I'm left with my curiosity.

I don't want to open another credit card right now, so I guess I'm going to use the ATMs. Unless there are Chase banks there, I'll be hit for fees on this end, but given how expensive the whole trip is, I guess I shouldn't worry about this :)

Thanks!

Salisbury, United...
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6. Re: getting ISK currency in US

I've just returned from Switzerlandcand used an ATM to get my currency. My debit card charges a small fee. Had I changed my money in UK the rate was 1.41chf to £1. At the ATM the rate was 1.51chf to £1 taking the small fee into account the rate worked out at 1.48chf to £1. So I was better off.

Even though currency exchange at home is advertised as commission free they give you a much less favourable rate than the bank rate. As you say given the cost of the holiday any fee pale into insignifcence. Iceland is a country where you need very little currency. Use debit and credit cards.

If you are worried about not having currency when you arrive there are ATMs on arrival at the airport.

Edited: 29 September 2012, 10:44
Chicago
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7. Re: getting ISK currency in US

That's great to know. Thanks for the insight!

8. Re: getting ISK currency in US

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